As you may have already heard of Maurice cheeks is the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons and while I think it’s a great hire I also realize that with this unexpected coach becoming available maybe that Maurice Cheeks was maybe not the right man for the job. Lionel Hollins is an excellent coach who track record is proven and will sustain whichever team he coaches at a high level. There was always a rumor that Hollins was having a disagreement with new ownership but his track record made most including myself skeptical about him leaving the Memphis Grizzlies. When I look at the blueprint of how and what two big men should play together I think of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Why Is He So Good
Hollins is so good because he wins, a lot and he adapts to his personnel better than most NBA head coaches. His record is 214-201 for a winning percentage of .516% which is higher than Maurice Cheeks .498%. The numbers are even more impressive if take out Hollins first season in which he coached the then Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999-2000 his record goes up even further to a winning percentage of .552%. In interviews he has even said when he first started coaching Memphis he wanted an up tempo style but once looking at his players he decided it was better to go with a more defensive pound it in the post type of game. Hollins has accomplished more with less than maybe any coach in the NBA. I honestly believe next season the Pistons roster will be almost if not equally as talented as Memphis. Remember the Pistons have in excess of 30 million dollars in cap space if they amnesty Charlie Villanueva. The Pistons can then make a run at marquee free agents and also have the number eight pick in this upcoming NBA draft. It’s no slight against Memphis but it is an indictment of how good Hollins is. If you gave me five coaches to choose from Hollins is in my top five in that list includes Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle, Tom Thibodeau, Doc Rivers, and of course Lionel Hollins. When you consider what Memphis has accomplished in the last three years not very many teams can make that claim. Hollins continually gets the most out of his players and they love playing for him. He lost one of his best players due to trade and still made it to the conference finals, not many can do that considering Rudy Gay was their closers in close games down the stretch. The system he has ran in Memphis is tailored made for Detroit Pistons basketball. High and low post with one of the Turnt Up Twins more than likely Greg Monroe making a entry pass to Andre Drummond or taking a 15 foot jump shot. Pick and roll with Drummond and Brandon Knight. The possibly are endless with the proper help adding to the pieces already in place.
For The Record
I still think Maurice Cheeks is a great hire but I would not due the public proper diligence if I did not bring up the facts about Lionel Hollins who I think you can make an argument that he is one of the top five coaches in the NBA or at least belongs in that discussion. Hollins is an exceptional coach and a leader of men who in turn will be willing to run through a brick wall for him furthermore not everything can be taught and he has natural talent and an ability to lead.